U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) recently filed a “Friend of the Court” brief in the United States District Court located in North Carolina, supporting a Motion for Summary Judgment submitted by Rose Acre Farms. The brief asked the court to reaffirm that any stormwater that incidentally contacts dust and feathers from poultry houses via ventilation fans and deposited on the ground constitutes agricultural stormwater expressly exempt from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Rose Acre Farms submitted the motion for summary judgment following notification by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) that Rose Acre Farms was required to obtain a NPDES permit. This notification came even though the plain language of the statute, supported by previous court cases, states that agricultural stormwater is not a point source discharge requiring a NPDES permit.
“Despite an earlier federal courtdecision that ruled stormwater draining from the areas surrounding poultry production houses is agricultural stormwater runoff, North Carolina and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through their support of NCDENR in this case, are trying to deny Rose Acre Farms of the exemption clearly outlined in the Clean Water Act. USPOULTRY filed the ‘friend of the court’ brief to make the court aware of the magnitude and far reaching implications this case holds for every poultry and egg producer in the U. S.,” remarked John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.